CHATROOM, a film depicting the effect of gender-based violence in Nigeria, has debuted in Lagos with a call to promote gender advancement.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that CHATROOM, which premiered on Sunday night was inspired by true-life events laced with comedy. It tells the inspiring story of Ebiere, who enters a dancing reality show, to escape the haunting ghost of her past.
The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Pauline Tallen, in a keynote address at the premiere, said that the sustenance of gender equality perspectives should be coordinated in the plans, projects, and programmes of government.
Tallen, represented by Mrs Friya Kimde Bulus, Director of Gender Affairs in the ministry, said that the event could not have come at a better time than now.
She decried the increase in Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the country, noting that the demise of popular music singer, Mrs. Osinachi Nwachukwu, was a sad reminder of the menace.
“As you are all aware, the issues of GBV have been on the increase in Nigeria, with the latest being the death of the popular gospel singer, late Mrs. Osinachi Nwachukwu.
“Nwachukwu allegedly died from intimate partner’s violence,” the minister said.
She expressed delight to be part of the premiere of CHATROOM and commended the organisers for a job well done stressing that it will be geared toward meeting the targets of gender mainstreaming into policies across the country.
Tallen further said that the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs has launched the sex offender register, aimed at naming and shaming GBV perpetrators as part of measures to stem the tide.
“The launching of the national GBV data collation tool will ease the dearth in Nigeria. Every partner and stakeholder should use the tool to collate and submit GBV data to the ministry for effective coordination and planning.
“We have also set up national Chief Security Officers Emergency Response Team to assist in spotlight initiative issues. We have launched a toll-free line for the public to report on the cases of rape, violence, and abuse,” she said.
The movie director and scriptwriter, Chike Ibekwe, said that he chose to write a story of hope, rather than that of silence and misery suffered by most victims of sexual abuse.
Ibekwe said that the premiere also featured the launch of the virtual CHATROOM on the movie’s website, www.chatroomthemovie.com He said that the website was a safe place where victims that had been abused or with mental health could break their silence and get help.
Ibekwe added that The CHATROOM could be accessed as a guest using anonymous, for those that did not want to disclose their identity.